ST. LOUIS -- For the fourth-straight year, the State Farm MVC Tournament will have a different top seed. Northern Iowa, which shared the regular-season title with Creighton, earned the No. 1 MVC Tournament seed for the first time in school history. The Panthers, picked sixth in the league's pre-season poll, finished with a regular-season record of 20-10 and 14-4 in league play, and held the tiebreaker over co-champion Creighton (25-6, 14-4).
Much remains to be determined as the final week of the Missouri Valley Conference season begins Tuesday with three league contests. Three teams (Creighton, Illinois State and UNI) all enter the final two games with a chance of claiming the league's regular-season crown and No. 1 tournament seed. Opening-round games of the State Farm MVC Tournament begin Thursday, March 5.
The victory was the third-straight for the Redbirds on the road as they improved to 21-5 overall and 9-5 in the conference. Drake fell to 15-12 and 6-9, respectively.
The Bulldogs seemed in control owning a 62-55 lead with 3 minutes 15 seconds left following two free throws by junior guard Craig Stanley (Plano, Texas).
But Drake missed its last four shots. Two free throws by Evansville reserve James Haarsma with 17 seconds remaining tied the score at 62-62.
The Valley will wind out the pre-Christmas non-league slate in the next nine days with 21 non-MVC games. Thirteen of those are at home, where the league is 41-10 this season. Two games this week are featured on the ESPN family of networks, including Evansville at North Carolina on Thursday (ESPN) and Iowa at Drake (ESPNU) on Saturday.
It was a rematch of the classic 2008 ESPNU Bracket Busters game which pitted then No. 16 ranked Drake at then No. 8 ranked Butler.
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